Lenny & Larry’s is a meal replacement protein cookie company. They’re best known for the Complete Cookie, a vegan protein cookie sold in most health food stores.
The standard Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie is too high in carbs and cane sugar for a keto diet. Recently, however, the company came out with a new product: a keto cookie that has only 3 grams of net carbs.
Can you have the new Lenny & Larry’s cookie on a keto diet? And how good are the keto cookie’s ingredients?
Here’s a review of Lenny & Larry’s keto cookie, complete with pros and cons, taste and texture, ingredients, and more.
Lenny & Larry’s regular cookies come in a wide variety of flavors, from snickerdoodle to birthday cake to double chocolate.
Their keto cookies are fairly new, and are starting out with a more modest flavor selection. Currently, there are three flavors of keto cookie:
- Chocolate chip cookie
- Coconut cookie
- Peanut butter cookie
Each flavor has slight variations in ingredients, but is more-or-less the same from a nutritional standpoint.
As far as taste and texture go, these cookies leave a bit to be desired. They’re very dry and crumbly, likely because of the bean flour they contain. They’re also slightly grainy, possibly thanks to the pea protein.
The exception is the peanut butter flavor, which holds together a bit better, although it’s still dry.
All three keto cookies are much less sweet than the original Complete Cookies, which suggests that they’ve been modified for a keto dieter’s palate. If you have a sweet tooth, these cookies likely won’t satisfy it (although some people may see that as a positive).
Lenny & Larry’s prides itself on making exclusively vegan cookies with natural, gluten-free, non-GMO ingredients. The company’s new keto cookie fits those guidelines, which means there’s no wheat gluten or artificial sweeteners (the cookies are sweetened with sugar alcohols and stevia instead).
The cookies also contain sustainable palm oil, which is great (palm oil manufacturing is one of the leading causes of rainforest destruction worldwide).
That’s all good news, but from a health perspective, there are still a few questionable ingredients in Lenny & Larry’s cookies.
Lupin Bean Flour
Lenny & Larry’s has chosen an unusual flour for their keto cookie: lupin bean flour, a gluten-free, low-carb flour made from a legume.
Lupin bean flour is low-carb and has several grams of fiber per serving, which makes it keto.
However, there are a couple downsides to lupin flour as well.
- Anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrients are compounds that plants create to defend themselves from hungry predators. When you eat an anti-nutrient-rich plant, it either causes inflammation and digestive distress or prevents you from absorbing precious nutrients, so you don’t get much benefit from the plant and are less likely to eat it again. Lupin bean flour is high in a variety of anti-nutrients, including lectins, phytic acid, and trypsin inhibitors. Cooking, soaking, and otherwise processing lupin beans is a mixed bag — it decreases some anti-nutrients, but increases others[*]. If you’re sensitive to inflammation or focusing on a nutrient-rich diet, you may want to give lupin bean flour a pass.
- Low nutritional value. Raw lupin beans are high in vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, they’re also high in a toxic alkaloid called lupanine that’s fatal if ingested[*]. To make lupin beans edible, manufacturers have to process them for close to a week in the presence of a strong base (the opposite of an acid). During that process, up to 75% of the lupin beans’ nutrients are lost[*]. As a result, lupin flour is not particularly nutritious.
- Peanut allergies. The lupin bean is a close relative of the peanut — so close that it will trigger an allergic reaction in a lot of people with peanut allergies. If you’re allergic to peanuts, you may want to pass on these cookies.
While lupin flour is keto, it’s not particularly healthy, and it may actually have some downsides because of its anti-nutrient content.
Because these cookies are vegan, whey protein powder isn’t an option. Instead, they contain pea protein — not the worst protein on the market, but also not a great choice.
Pea protein is a complete protein, meaning it has all nine essential amino acids that your body needs to get from diet. That’s good, and somewhat rare for a plant-based protein.
However, pea protein does not have the branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) content that whey protein does[*]. BCAAs are essential for building muscle and recovering from exercise, and the lower BCAA levels in pea protein could lead to less muscle growth and recovery, compared to using whey protein.
These keto cookies have 8 grams of protein per serving size (the whole cookie).
Chicory Root Fiber
Lenny & Larry’s keto cookies also get a significant amount of their fiber from chicory root.
Chicory root fiber (also called inulin) is a hotly debated topic in the keto community. It’s definitely keto — chicory root fiber contains zero net carbs — but it breaks down faster than other types of fiber, which can contribute to gastrointestinal distress in some people. A lot of keto companies avoid using chicory root fiber for this reason.
Chicory root fiber is also high in FODMAPs, so if you have a sensitive gut or get bloated easily, you’re better off avoiding it[*].
Lenny & Larry’s keto cookies are definitely keto, but they’re somewhere in the middle when it comes to ingredient quality.
Ingredients like bean flour, pea protein, and chicory root fiber are all low-carb, but they may cause inflammation, bloating, or indigestion in some people.
These aren’t high-protein cookies, and their nutritional profile isn’t particularly impressive. They seem to be meant more to satisfy your sweet tooth.
But as far as flavor and texture goes, these cookies leave a lot to be desired. They’re dry and crumbly, and may not be sweet enough for some people.
If your gut is healthy and you’re looking for a vegan cookie that fits keto macros, these keto cookies could be a decent option for you.
But if you aren’t vegan, there are tastier keto cookies that may satisfy your sweet tooth and provide better nutrition at the same time.
If you’re looking for already-made keto cookies with cleaner ingredients, opt for Perfect Keto Cookies, which also contain a serving of grass-fed collagen and only 4 net carbs per serving.
You can also make your own keto cookies. These keto sugar cookies are a great base recipe — moist, decadent, and easy to customize to whatever flavor you enjoy.